Book Review: “Fire Lilies” by Cynthia Leal Massey

Reviewed by Bev Scott

Fire Lilies, by Cynthia Leal Massey

In Fire Lilies, Cynthia Leal Massey has created the story of two beautiful and rebellious sisters in early twentieth-century Mexico. The opening chapter hooked me, and the novel continued to move at a fast, engaging pace. The author intertwines the loves and passions of these two sisters with the political intrigue and upheavals of the Mexican Revolution. This engaging historical context adds depth and interest to the unfolding romances of Dolores and Alicia.

Dolores’s father has forced her to marry an older man who is cruel and demanding. Then, she falls in love with a vaquero working on her husband’s hacienda. Defying the expectations of her family’s social class, Dolores takes amazing risks for her life. Meanwhile, she also struggles to control the carnal desires expressed by her sister’s husband.

Younger sister Alicia refuses a marriage arranged by her father. Instead, she marries the man she loves, who is lower in social standing than her. Nevertheless, she loves and trusts her husband, and their union results in the birth of fifteen children. Such a large family seems almost beyond belief, but perhaps could be tolerable if one had servants. Ultimately, Alicia faces the unfaithfulness of her husband. And, as the Revolution disrupts everything, she faces death and loses her comfortable way of life.

In summary, I highly recommend Fire Lilies, a historical romance set in a little known period of Mexican history.

More information: Cynthia Leal Massey